Acosta Confronted by Angel Moms at White House After Tense Exchange With Trump

Trump tells CNN reporter to ask mothers if he's manufacturing border crisis

• February 15, 2019 12:45 pm


Angel Moms confronted CNN correspondent Jim Acosta at the White House on Friday, leading him to briefly interview one after President Donald Trump told him to ask the mothers if he was truly manufacturing a border crisis.

Trump invited the Angel Moms to his announcement that he had declared a national emergency to secure money to build a southern border wall, after failing to get adequate funding from Congress for it.

Acosta, a strident critic of the president, said before the event Trump was using anti-immigration "mythology" as part of his case to build the wall and also said the Angel Moms' presence there was part of an effort of "trying to drum up some emotional energy on this occasion." He also mentioned their children were "allegedly" killed by illegal immigrants.

At the press conference, he asked Trump if he was concocting an emergency and cited data showing illegal immigrants commit crime at a lower rate than native-born Americans. Trump told Acosta he had an agenda and called him "fake news." He also told him to ask the Angel Moms whether it was truly an emergency.

After the press conference, Fox Business aired footage of the mothers, who brandished photos of their deceased children, confronting Acosta.

Finally, Acosta interviewed one mother whose son was killed by an illegal immigrant.

"I'm standing in front of these Angel Moms who came to the Rose Garden today to testify to what they've been through in terms of their ordeals, dealing with crime in this country and the undocumented immigrants that were responsible for the crimes that took away their loved ones," Acosta said.

"In terms of all of us here at CNN, our hearts go out to them. There is no attempt whatsoever to diminish what they've gone through or take away what they've gone through," Acosta said, stipulating his question was about the data behind Trump's declaration of an emergency.

A woman who said she was a legal immigrant held a photo of her deceased son and declared Trump "completely correct on this issue" while speaking with Acosta.

"My family came through the right channels, and this is my only son, who was murdered by a previously deported illegal alien," she said. "We need to secure our borders to protect American citizens. President Trump is completely correct on this issue. We need to protect this country."

In the studio, anchor Kate Bolduan reiterated CNN's coverage wasn't about diminishing anyone's pain, but rather about the constitutionality of Trump's emergency declaration.

Acosta has become a household name for his frequent spats with the White House and Trump himself.

He is writing a book about his experiences covering Trump called The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America. Acosta so dislikes Trump's rhetoric about the media that he once suggested on-air that reporters should make bumper stickers and signs and chant "We are not the enemy of the people" on Pennsylvania Avenue.